Lost in between colonialism and corporatism: A critical review of the case of South Korean academia


  • Hyu-Yong Park Chonbuk National university, Jeonju, South korea




colonialism, corporatism, journal accreditation system, English - mediated courses


In this paper, we critically examine the hypothesis that higher education in Korea still operates under the context of colonial dependency and has become corporatized, driven by the ideologies of neoliberalism and market capitalism. In doing so, we discuss the academic dependency and corporatization of Korean colleges by pinpointing three events: first, the recent attempt by Korean colleges to adopt the American journal accreditation system; second, the annexation of the universities to Chabeol to make universities more competitive and efficient; and third, Korean college policies for expanding English mediated courses in their curricula. We argue that these changes impacting the atmospheres of higher education and academia in k orea are not legitimate because such changes confuse the real purposes of higher education, which should not be determined only by the logic of competition or scientific development. These changes also disregard the rights of students and lecturers to think, communicate, and perform research using their own mother tongues. We suggest alternative attitudes and strategies for Korean academia to revive academic independence.


Download data is not yet available.


Alatas, S. F. (2000). academic Dependency in the Social Sciences: reflections on India and Malaysia. American Studies International, 38(2), 8096.

Alatas, S. F. (2003). academic dependency and the global division of labour in the social sciences. Current Sociology, 51(6), 599–613.http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/00113921030516003

Alatas, S. F. (2006). alternative Discourses in Asian Social Science, Sage Publications. Alvares, C. (1992). Science, Development and Violence. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Alvares, C. (2011). A critique of Eurocentric social science and the question of alternatives. Economic & Political Weekly, XLVI(22), 7281. http://multiworldindia.org/wpcontent/uploads/2009/12/Claudealvares1.pdf

Arnove, R. F. (1980). Philanthropy and Cultural Imperialism: The Foundations at Home and abroad. Boston, Ma: g.k. Hall. 4158.

Arnove, R. F., & Pinede, N. (2007). revisiting the “big three” foundations. Critical Sociology, 33(3), 389 425. Bourdieu, P., & Wacquant, L. (1999).On the Cunning of Imperialist reason. Theory, Culture & Society, 16(1),http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/156916307X188960

Brophy, E. (2012). The university is Ours!: a Conference on Struggles within and beyond the Neoliberal University (April 2729, 2012). Toronto, Ontario.

Canagarajah, A. S. (2013). Translingual practice: global Englishes and cosmopolitan relations. New York: Routledge.

Chomsky, N. (2011). academic freedom and the corporatization of universities. [Interview on April 6, 2011] Scarborough: University of Toronto.http://www.chomsky.info/talks/20110406.htm

Chon, B. k. (2011).Common consent on the necessity, while objecting the obligation. [Culture] (Sep. 9, 2011). Chosun Ilbo.

Churchill, W. (2002).White Studies: The Intellectual Imperialism of Higher Education. Penang, Malaysia: Citizens International.

Fallis, g. (2007). Multiversities, Ideas, and Democracy. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press.

Fisher, D. (1983). The role of Philanthropic Foundations in the reproduction and Production of Hegemony: Rockefeller Foundations and the Social Sciences. Sociology, 17, 206233. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0038038583017002004

Forbes, J. D. (1998). Intellectual SelfDetermination and Sovereignty: Implication for Native Studies and for Native Intellectuals. Wicazo Sa review, 13(1),11−23.http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1409026

Freidman, L. J. &Mcgarvie M.D. (Eds.)(2003).Charity, philanthropy, and civility in American history. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Garreau, F. H. (1988). another Type of Third World Dependency: The Social Sciences. International Sociology, 3(2), 171178.

Ghajar, S. g., & Mirhosseini, Sa. (Eds.)(2011). Confronting academic knowledge(pp. 146174). Tehran: Iran University Press.

Gumport, P. J. (1993). graduate education and organized research in the United States. In B. r. Clark (Ed.), The research foundations of graduate education: Germany, Britain, France, United States, Japan(pp. 225 1. .Berkeley, Ca: University of California Press.

Han, H., Kim, HO, Maeng, Ek., & Kim, SW.(2011). Needs analysis and supporting strategies for effective English-mediated courses. Educational policies (April 2011). Inchon: Aju university.

Han, H., Kim, HO., Maeng, Ek, & Kim, SW.(2011). Needs analysis for effective English-mediated courses in college. Policy studies in major university (2011. 04.). Suwon: Ajou University.

Haney, D. (2008). The Americanization of social science: Intellectuals and public responsibility in the postwar United States. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Heilbron, J., guilhot, N. & Laurent, J. (2008).Toward a Transnational History of the Social Sciences. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 44(2), 146−160.http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jhbs.20302

Hereniko, V. (2000).Indigenous knowledge and academic Imperialism. In r. Borofsky (Ed.), remembrance of Pacific Pasts: an Invitation to remake History (pp. 7891). Honolulu, HI: university of Hawai’i Press. Hersh, r. H., & Merrow, J. (Eds.)(2005).Declining by degrees: Higher education at risk. New york & Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hibrain (2013). Professor’s chatroom (Online forum). http://hibrain.net/

Jaya, P. S. (2001). Do We really ‘know’ and ‘Profess’?: Decolonising Management knowledge. Organization, 8(2), 227233.http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1350508401082008

Katz, E. (1978). Of mutual interest. Journal of communication, 28(2), 133 141. kBS(2013).Flooding university ranking systems by mass media. (June, 13, 2013)http://dx.doi.org/10.111/j.1460-2466.1978.tb01608.x

kirchik, O., gingras, y., & Larivière, V. (2012).Changes in publication languages and citation practices and their effect on the scientific impact of russian science (1993–2010).Journal of the american Society for Information Science and Technology, 63(7), 1411–1419. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/asi.22642

Slaughter, S. (2009). reconsidering institutional cosmopolitanism: global poverty and the importance of the state in international political theory. global Change, Peace & Security, 21(1), 37 52. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14781150802659309

Tardy, C. (2004). The role of English in scientific communication: lingua franca or Tyrannosaurus rex? Journal of English for academic Purposes, 3(3), 247–269.http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2003.10.001

university News Network (2010). Oversea doctors employment is soaring (Jul 13, 2013). http://news.unn.net/ Wallerstein, I. (1996). Eurocentrism and its avatars: The Dilemmas of Social Science. Paper presented to korean Sociological association: International Sociological association East asian regional Colloquium on ‘The Future of Sociology in East asia (November 2223, 1996). Seoul: South korea.

Wang, S., Davis, D. & Bian, y. (2006). The uneven distribution of cultural capital: Book reading in urban China. Modern China, 32(3), 315348.http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0097700406288178

Yonsei Chronicles (2011). [Special issue] There is no shortcut to globalization(Oct. 8, 2011). http://chunchu.yonsei.ac.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=17048

Yoon, BJ.(2007). Learn korean literature in English? Monthly Mal, 258, 8285.




How to Cite

Hyu-Yong Park. (2015). Lost in between colonialism and corporatism: A critical review of the case of South Korean academia. Issues and Ideas in Education, 3(1), 9–27. https://doi.org/10.15415/iie.2015.31002